Ma’Khia Bryant’s neighbor Donovan Brinson said Tuesday that a video captured by his garage security camera led him to believe the Columbus police officer who shot Bryant had no other choice.
Brinson watched the incident begin to unfold as he pulled into his driveway.
“They were calling each other the B-word, so I figured it was just a girl fight,” he told The Columbus Dispatch.
Brinson said the intensity of the fight increased when he was taking his dog out. He claimed he heard four gunshots when the police arrived at the scene.
Brinson then reviewed the 26-second video from his surveillance camera and concluded that Bryant may have fatally stabbed multiple bystanders had the officer not acted immediately to stop the threat.
“It was violent and all just happened so fast,” Brinson said. He mentioned seeing a girl wearing pink who was the second female involved in the skirmish with Bryant.
The video showed an officer performing CPR on Bryant after the shots were fired.
Ira Graham III, another neighbor, said he heard the gunshots Tuesday afternoon and saw cop cars driving down the street. After viewing the police video, Graham commented, “I believe in truth and facts. Video doesn’t lie,” he said. “She was in full attack mode.”
Graham said of the female dressed in pink that the woman “was literally aiming a knife at this young lady.”
“She needed to be stopped at that point. That young lady’s life was at stake,” Graham said.
Interim Columbus Police Chief Michael Woods told reporters Wednesday that state law permits police to use deadly force to protect themselves or others.
Bryant was a 16-year-old foster care child with Franklin County Children’s Services. Her death has sparked outcry in the community and nationwide in the wake of the trial verdict that found police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd.
Nicholas Reardon, the officer identified in Bryant’s killing, has been removed from duty while the situation is investigated.